When the saga of Fast and Furious – 53% began in 2001, the story between the undercover cop and the underground racers would become one of the most popular in action movies with its impressive racing cars. Perhaps one of the most important elements within the franchise, and what helped keep it going for so long, was the chemistry between Paul Walker and Vin Diesel.
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Being a resounding success before the public, the saga managed to survive until 2015 continuing with its main characters from the first film, however, the production had to face one of the most difficult moments in the industry: the death of one of its stars. On November 30, 2013, the tragic news of the death of Paul Walker was announced in Santa Clarita, California, victim of a car accident.
This came about when Fast and Furious 7 – 79% had not finished developing yet, so the creatives had to make major changes to justify the absence of their character. At the end of the movie, Brian goes on the road alongside Toretto until their paths part, now O’Conner would focus on his little family. This scene was made by another actor, with Walker’s face digitally overlaid. At the time, there were still questions about whether the franchise could continue without Walker, and what they did by giving Diesel the starring role and including new characters was quite convenient for the production.
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Now Fast and Furious is preparing its last trilogy that will begin with the ninth film, and the question remains about where O’Conner is in this cinematic universe. According to the director of this new installment, Justin Lin, they constantly raise how to solve this issue, but he ensures that the character is still alive and is still part of the story. This was what he commented during an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
Yes, that is a constant problem and something I always want to be very respectful of. The fact that Brian O’Conner is still alive in this universe must be recognized. We’re treating Fast & Furious 9 as the first movie of [la última trilogía], and at some point it’s something I think about and how we can really show their presence, but in a respectful way. So it is always continuous. I feel like we’ve done it in F9 in a way that makes me feel good, but as we try to wrap up the saga, it’s something I’ll always keep thinking about.
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So far it is not known exactly where the character will be in the new film, but in one of the official trailers Toretto is seen looking at a photograph of Brian with his son. To tell the truth, the arrival of new characters to the franchise has been quite flattering, proof of this is the success of Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw – 83%, a spinoff story starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham.
In Fast & Furious 9, fans will witness the encounter between Toretto and his younger brother Jakob, played by wrestler John Cena, who Diesel assured that he would be proud and excited to have him join the cast. During an interview, the actor said that when Cena arrived he felt “as if Paul had sent it, as if this was meant to be.” After so many delays the premiere has faced, the film is expected to hit theaters on June 25.
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Fast and Furious 9: Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) Still Alive in Franchise, Director Reveals